EIB, Masdar ink RE collaboration pact

Masdar has signed a framework agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to “accelerate” the roll-out of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa.

The arrangement, whose exact nature remains vague, will see Abu Dhabi-based Masdar working alongside the EIB to “identify investment opportunities to develop and finance renewable energy projects”.

The two clean-energy powerhouses will work together in the realms of “project identification, evaluation and development”, in addition to training up locals in critical renewables-related skills.

Recent reports suggesting that key Western lenders – including the EIB, the World Bank and Germany’s KfW – will be unwilling to finance mega-solar projects in politically sensitive areas in North Africa serve to underscore the central role Arab Gulf states may have to play in the region’s renewables programme.

In addition to owning several large solar plants in the UAE and Spain, and a stake in the London Array offshore wind farm, Masdar owns a minority stake in Jordan’s first wind farm, expected to begin commercial operation next year.

Masdar says its interests are “broadly aligned” with those of the EIB, one of the most important lenders to the European renewables sector.